This hot new table in Chinatown has all the buzz of a bar with comfort dishes from East and West… and one ridiculously good burger.
You know we can’t resist when something new pops up near Honeycombers HQ. Hell, there’s a reason why we’re forking out for digs on Telok Ayer to stay in the foodie epicentre of Singapore. Of course it’s only neighbourly to get to know The Keep & Commune on South Bridge Road. This joint does ace coffee in the morning, comfort pastas, salads and a kickass burger for lunch, all the way through to cocktails and an impressive little East-West tapas menu after dark. We could technically be here three times a day… and yes, we would.
You’ll find The Keep & Commune opposite the Pagoda St market: out front in the Commune, it’s all marble tables, homegrown herbs – growing as we speak – and striking local scenes shot by Asia Photo Collective. Out back in the Keep, there’s a more intimate dining space and an unmistakable print of Jane Fonda by British street artist Pure Evil. If you usually hit the Club Street or Amoy stretch for your after-work drinks and dinner, take a little turn and put this on your list to hit next.
The dinner menu is literally split into East and West – no fussy fusion here, just the best of both worlds. Yes you can mix it up, and do it tapas-style if you’re a sharer. So, a spread at The Keep & Commune could start with a take on Spanish pan con tomate – but with whole roasted cherry tomatoes instead of pulp for that caramelised depth. Then bring on the amazing deep-fried tofu with pickled chilli and a glaze of yuzu, turmeric, soy, cumin and curry leaves, or addictive little jamon and queso croquettes. Depending on how you like your comfort food, do the 24-hr marinated devil’s wings, or the spot-on Cambodian loc lac: prime rib eye with French onion and dark sauce, which brought us right back to a streetside stall in Siem Reap.
And because we’re total gluttons around here, we added a burger on top of all that. Chef Faizal Pow’s homage to the In-N-Out burger is one damn fine specimen. Two storeys of beef. Mayo slathered on cheese. Brioche bun. Gotta have it with hand-cut fries and homemade barbecue sauce. Ask him the secret and he’ll tell you it’s made with love. We feel it, Faizal.
What’s the damage? Dishes, such as that tofu, start at $12. The burger with fries is $18 all in (we’ve already gone back for seconds). There are eight wines on the dinner menu: all available by the glass or bottle, peaking at $16 nett for a glass of Arlequin Shiraz from The Barossa Valley. And, of course, there’s the bar: think small-batch cocktails, craft beers and everything else you’d want from a great neighbourhood joint with good vibes. We’re calling it: this is one of the best value experiences we’ve had in a while in this town.
Told you this could be your new regular hangout.
The Keep & Commune; 237 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058786